An interview with Laura Kesting, General Counsel – Faces of Gigaset7. March 2023 Published by Jana Greyling
In the name of the law: As General Counsel, Laura Kesting is responsible for all legal matters at Gigaset – from company and stock corporation law, risk management and intellectual property, to advising the Executive Board. Read here what the native of Bochum looks out for in new colleagues and what she feels is important as regards leadership.
You can share first-hand what it’s like to work at Gigaset and the exciting, challenging and diverse fields of work our company has to offer. Enjoy reading the second part of our “Faces of Gigaset” blog series. Maybe you’d like to be featured here soon, too? If so, visit our career portal, find the right job and apply!
In today’s interview, Raphael Dörr, SVP Corporate Communications & Investor Relations, spoke with Laura Kesting, General Counsel.
Tell us a bit about what you do at Gigaset.
As General Counsel, I’m responsible for all legal matters in the Legal department. My task area at Gigaset as a listed company is very diverse – ranging from company law, civil law and stock corporation law, risk management, intellectual property and capital market law, advising the Sales, Marketing and Purchasing divisions, to advising the Executive Board and Supervisory Board on legal matters.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this function?
Things are changing in the field of law at an incredible pace. I keep an eye on all the issues that are emerging, such as in relation to data protection, the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, etc., and always keep up-to-date in all fields. It’s important to me to convey legalities to employees outside my department in a way that is understandable and practical.
What do colleagues in the industry find unique or cool about your job?
What excites many of my colleagues in the industry about our job is seeing how a wide range of different legal issues are linked to a company’s operational matters and strategic business decisions.
What made you decide to work at Gigaset?
First and foremost, the wide range of topics in the telecommunications industry, which is itself subject to constant change. I particularly appreciate the interdisciplinary collaboration – it’s simply fun to work together with a great team on varied topics and to overcome a wide range of challenges.
When you look back on your career, can you name an important risk you took?
I simply quit a job overnight that didn’t suit me and in which I felt uncomfortable, with no alternative lined up. That felt like jumping in at the deep end, but the decision definitely paid off in terms of my further development and I’ve never regretted it.
What qualities do you believe are crucial for today’s managers, especially after a pandemic?
Integrity, a passion for your work and the ability to learn are vital parts of a modern leadership style. Add to that: decisiveness, transparent communication and involving employees in decision-making processes at an early stage.
What have you learned about crisis management during your time here?
I’ve learned that strong negotiating skills, optimism and the ability to keep your cool, yet react quickly are crucial to dealing systematically with crisis situations. A frantic response and action for action’s sake help no one.
What makes you optimistic about the future of this industry?
Telecommunications has always been an important companion for most people and will therefore remain relevant for many in the long term.
What advice would you give your younger self – or a young person just starting out in the technology industry?
Keep an open mind and be enthusiastic about innovations. Don’t let yourself be distracted from your goals!
How do you manage to create a solid base of managers you trust? What do you look for when hiring someone?
I believe the ability to work independently is the be-all and end-all. Especially in our Legal department – but also in all other areas – it’s essential to be able to work practically and effectively, yet diligently and conscientiously. Empathy plays just as big a role for me.
So those are the qualities you look for. Now the other side of the coin: What are warning signs that make you think someone isn’t suitable?
When someone talks a lot and asks few questions. Or if it becomes apparent that someone is reluctant to take on responsibility or tends to avoid dealing with issues.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Travel, camping, cycling and music. I like being outdoors a lot.